Arm compression sleeves are made of a stretchy material that helps them apply compression to the arm. The compressed area typically starts from just below the shoulder and ends below the elbow. However, this may vary from model to model.
Sleeves compress a particular limb or joint. However, there are also garments that apply compression to larger areas of the body. For example, compression tights apply compression to the entire lower body. Compression tops do the same for the upper body.
These sleeves offer a range of benefits in the areas of injury treatment, injury prevention and enhancing athletic performance. The conditions that can be helped by wearing these sleeves include lymphedema, delayed onset muscle soreness and soft tissue injuries. These soft tissue injuries include muscle or tendon strains and ligament sprains.
Benefits of Wearing Arm Compression Sleeves
One of the principal benefits of wearing these sleeves is the boost they provide to the blood supply to specific areas. Enhancing the blood supply ensures a flow of oxygen and nutrients. This can help speed recovery from injuries like sprains, strains and other soft tissue injuries.
Arm compression sleeves can also help to reduce muscle vibrations in areas such as the biceps and triceps. This can be an important contributor to proactively reducing the risk of straining arm muscles during athletic activity.
Muscle Tiredness & Soreness
The enhanced blood circulation also provides a fresh supply of oxygen to sore and tired muscles. This in turn helps the wearer maintain top athletic performance for longer.
Another benefit of this supply of oxygen is in helping to reduce the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This is a condition of muscle pain and soreness that appears one to two days after exercise or sports activity. There is no known way to completely eliminate DOMS. However, it can be reduced by the improved supply of oxygen from a compression sleeve.
This refers to the body’s innate ability to sense when the relative positions of limbs pose an injury risk. It also refers to its ability to correct the situation and reduce the risk of injury. Compression garments such as arm sleeves are levied to enhance proprioceptive ability. This helps to reduce the risk of injury during sports activity.
Proprioception is also believed to help the body arrange limb positions in the most effective way to accomplish a given result. It helps athletes attempting to execute a complicated movement or stroke to do so instinctively, effectively and efficiently. As a result, the improved proprioception from arm compression sleeves helps to improve athletic performance.
The sports most likely to be helped by improved arm prioception are those involving throwing or bowling actions. More generally, any sport that makes extensive use of the arm or shoulder can be potentially helped.
Probably the most well known sports in this category would be baseball, tennis, basketball and cricket. Other less known sports that use extensive bowling or throwing motions, such as javelin throwing, could also benefit.
How To Choose An Arm Compression Sleeve
In choosing a compression sleeve, there are a number of factors to remember if the best results are to be achieved.
This is often overlooked. However, it is essential if you are to be able to wear your sleeve without distraction due to lack of comfort. If possible, you should make an effort to try on your sleeve before making a purchase. If you cannot do so, make sure that you closely follow the manufacturer’s sizing chart and/or instructions.
It is first important to be sure that it is not too tight in important areas like the wrist or elbow.
Check whether the sleeve offers uniform compression over the area of your arm. Make sure also that it covers any area that you feel may be vulnerable to injury
Many sleeves these days are made from latex free and even hypoallergenic materials. If you have sensitive skin or a history of allergic sensitivities, you should try to choose one of these if possible.
Wearing Your Sleeve
You may be using an arm compression sleeve to avoid a sports injury or for improved performance. If so, you should try to wear it whenever you are practising or competing.
To reduce the symptoms of DOMS, try to wear your sleeve at all periods when you are not exercising.
However, if you are wearing the sleeve for a work related reason, it is probably best to wear it during all waking hours.
In most cases, there is little benefit to be gained from wearing the sleeve to bed. In fact, if it has a high compression level, this may actually interfere with your sleep and so be counter productive.
DISCLAIMER: * Please note that, although Dunbar Medical distributes many premier brands in Sports Medicine and Home Health Care, we do not provide medical advice. As a result, we caution all users of this site not to regard its contents as medical, legal or other professional advice. Please do not attempt to use the information on this site to understand or treat any health or fitness problem or disease you may be experiencing. Instead, please seek the advice and assistance of a healthcare professional in order to understand the treatments or therapies that are appropriate for your particular condition.